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Xiao Qiang: Fresh Flowers

June 27, 2007

1989 Democracy Movement veteran Jiang Pinchao, now living in Los Angeles, compiled 385 poems to mark the 18th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown. Advance drafts of the book, reproduced in pirated editions, have been confiscated by officials throughout China. This is translations of a small selection of the poems.

Fresh Flowers (鲜花)

Xiao Qiang (萧强)

It is the sixth dawn
After the hunger strike.

An old woman, both eyes blind and rheumy,
Leaning on a little girl,

Grasping a bouquet of fresh flowers,
Totters in among us.

The picket line instantly parts
And the raucous square falls silent.

In the vast darkness
Flowers as red as blood.

From “Beijing Notebook” (北京诗笺).